Teacher Reflections

Reflections of CPMP Teachers

Comments from the field:
"Our department is excited about implementation of the new Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSS). We believe that the change will be relatively easy for our program because Core-Plus Mathematics aligns well with the CCSS, including the Mathematical Practices Standards. Our students are engaged daily in problem solving, reasoning, making sense of mathematics, and using technological tools strategically." "The Core-Plus Mathematics series offers challenging problems with real-life contexts that engage students and provide an excellent structure for connecting key mathematical ideas. The materials are also supportive in promoting meaningful student discourse that helps build strong conceptual understandings, especially as students move from informal to more abstract ideas."
"It is amazing how closely the second edition of Core-Plus Mathematics aligns with the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, both in content and in the vision of mathematical proficiency described by the Standards for Mathematical Practice! The Modeling Standard is embedded seamlessly throughout all four courses, supporting students as they develop creative problem solving strategies, and emphasizing the rich connections among the different strands of mathematics." "I've learned that math can be exciting and dynamic (after 23 years); that I'm not done learning; that this is math that all students can and should experience; that math classes need not be tracked; and that we need to be active in changing misconceptions about math abilities."

Following the first year of teaching CPMP:
"I have re-thought what mathematics is appropriate for all students and whether mathematics can be comprehended by all." "I have discovered that I don't need to be the giver of all information - like I was so used to - like I thought I had to be. These students really can do the investigations. They CAN discover on their own and learn the material. They can explain it in their own words and understand it."
"Students working in teams are able to help each other and discover more information than ever before. Special education students are learning with this program. You usually cannot tell which students they are." "I have always believed that student ownership of whatever content, using whatever pedagogy, was the key to long term learning. CPMP forces student ownership without the students' realization."

Following two years of teaching CPMP:
"The contexts such as the 'whale tale' seem to provide students with a hook on which to place concepts. This allows students to retrieve the mathematics at a much later time." "Teaching CPMP has greatly altered my outlook on how much material and the difficulty level of material that students can handle."
"The reviews at the first of the year that I thought were so necessary - are not. Students will remember needed information that they have learned." "There is so much more to teaching mathematics than what I've done in the past."
"I have believed the 'challenging material' was not just for the so-called 'A students.' CPMP challenges every student every day to figure out what is going on and how it fits into the big picture." "I know that the kids are learning more, they remember it longer, and they put all the pieces together to form the big picture (the connections are everywhere)."

Following three years of teaching CPMP:
"I have found that students will remember topics in terms of the 'big problem' and then recreate the steps from memory as they encounter a similar problem a year later." "Developing student interest is a big issue. An application approach to topics enhances student interest. Students enjoy figuring things out for themselves and CPMP allows them to do this."
"CPMP has changed the way students view mathematics. Instead of being a static body of knowledge and methods to be learned and memorized, mathematics is now a way of thinking about problems and their solutions." "Any time kids are engaged in investigative-discovery type learning they have a better grasp of the concepts studied and seem to retain that which they have learned. Maybe this is because they likely feel some ownership in their learning with this method."
"For too long I 'taught' concepts by 'telling' students what they should know. I could see the lack of understanding in so many of their eyes, but I had no better way of helping them to learn. Now, students make sense of the concepts themselves, and many more of them are having true, deep understanding." "Smart students must learn to think and explain. All students can think - some students just need confidence to express it."

Following four years of teaching CPMP:
"I think the CPMP has really empowered my students. They are much more competent in their mathematical reasoning ability than traditional [students]." "The content of CPMP is much fuller and contains some content I had never had myself. The CPMP curriculum throughout is much more challenging than I first expected and certainly more so than traditional."
"The jump in difficulty level each year always amazed me. I would not have believed that such a variety of students could be successful in this curriculum." "It has totally changed the way I think about and teach students mathematics. I don't think I could ever go back and teach in a traditional setting again."
"I feel I understand mathematics much better and can teach it from a sense-making perspective, rather than a set of rules." "I'm a much better teacher now, with far greater awareness of applications and wider range of teaching/assessment strategies."

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